How to Exit the Roundabout of Non-Commitment

June 25th, 2021

By Kristen Yates

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

The energy of commitment is magic. Absolute magic.

This week marks six months that I’ve been in Peru working with Huachuma – and let me tell you, if you had told me a year ago that I’d abandon my digital nomad lifestyle to spend half a year working with plant medicine, I never would have believed it. But it turns out, the energy of commitment is vital to create forward motion in our lives – and it’s something I’ve been rather unconscious of for most of the past ten years traveling the world, flitting from thing to thing fiercely determined to live my life open-ended, experiencing it all but never truly landing in my path.

See, I’ve always struggled with commitment and decision-making. To me, it was always most important that everything be in flow, always open-ended so I could seek and experience absolutely everything without limit. I never wanted to miss out on a single experience in life, and trust me – I didn’t. I lived in every country, flitted from one nomadic community to another, constantly trying on new identities – I was a teacher, an online entrepreneur, a tantrika, yogi, dropshipper, course creator, photographer, coach, writer, graphic designer – you name it, I had tried (and likely succeeded a bit) at it.

But while constantly experiencing newness, I was constantly restless – always moving on to the next thing. Starting projects, never finishing them. Books, articles, podcasts, businesses – so many brilliantly visionary ideas, left half constructed in journals or forgotten in documents in my Google Drive.

Just like the relationships I built across the planet, from Thailand to Europe, Bali to Oregon and back again. I’d build up communities then leave, start relationships but always with one foot out the door as I was off to Mexico or South America anyway – and besides, I was terrified to commit to a partner, because what if someone better for me came along?

The Illusion of “Non-Committal”

Being “non-committal” is actually an illusion, though, as I’ve discovered. Because we’re always committed to something – we’re often just unconscious of what that is. When we’re afraid to pick a path, we’re committed to staying in limbo. While traveling for ten years and darting down a thousand different paths in pursuit of all the things, I was committed to the lifestyle I’d created for myself. I was committed to location independence and freedom above all else, and that served me for the time it needed to. I wasn’t non-committal at all; I was simply unaware that my commitments kept me floating rather than moving forward on my path.

But the energy of non-commitment or indecisiveness can definitely feel crazy-making. Imagine driving through a roundabout with several paths splitting off to various amazing places, unwilling to go down any of them for the fear of missing out on the others. Picking a path does require letting go of the others, but it will take you somewhere – never committing to any means going in circles forever, stuck in the roundabout and going down no path at all.

It’s helpful to step back from our lives periodically and reflect on where our commitments currently lie. And if you aren’t sure (or simply feel non-committal!) then look at where your energy is flowing, what is growing in your life based on what you give your attention to. Chances are, you’ve had (potentially subconscious) commitments in this area.

Make your commitments conscious, and you take back a huge piece of your power in life.

Unleash Your Sword of Decision-Making

Commitment and decision-making go hand in hand. I’ve always identified as terribly indecisive; for me, the process of a simple decision would often mean nights of lost sleep and over-obsessing for days over the minutiae of where to go or what to do.

The word “decide” comes from the Latin root “decidere”, comprised of two words: “de” meaning “off”, and “cadre” meaning “to cut.” When we make a decision, this is exactly what we do – we cut off alternative options to choose one path fully. Of course, for those of us who struggle with indecision or FOMO, this notion strikes terror into our hearts! But it’s exactly that severing energy of a decision which makes it so powerful.

It’s true – we DO miss out on things when we make a decision – but that’s the whole point. Because when we separate ourselves from the infinite other potential options, we can commit to one that feels right in the moment, free to pursue on path with our full attention and energy. This “decisive” severing energy carves out a path for action and results to happen in our lives. When we fear missing out and refuse to decide, we miss out on life itself.

See, when we want to explore everything and keep all of our options open, we’re actually experiencing nothing. There is an illusion that making a decision limits us in some way – when in fact, the exact opposite is true.

It reminds me of the way that consciousness and life energy experiences itself through us. The universe is infinite, but cannot experience all of itself at once (at least not in the way that we understand time) – it does so instead through one perspective, one life, one set of eyes at a time – and that’ what our life is. The you that you experience is the energy of life, making a commitment to experience itself through you, right now. You can’t be a tree, right now. Or a fox, or a snake. All of your atoms and particles and soul have committed to this life as YOU – so that’s what you get to be, fully, and presently. Why would you want to be someone or something else? It’s a fruitless endeavor, and only means you’ll miss out on the life you have now.

This is the energy of indecision. In striving to keep all options open, we cut ourselves off from the magic of flowing fully in one direction at a time. Imagine decision making as a powerful, glittering sword you use to slice through vagueness and “cut away” what’s not quite right, so you can step confidently in the direction that is.

And what if you’re not sure what to decide? (Trust me, I’ve been there! I’ve agonized for days over decisions even after making them.) When you stand at that crossroads, go inward to hear your intuition speak. Often, your body knows the right decision far better than your head ever can – because the path isn’t found through analysis, it’s created through feeling. And when you commit to something, make the decision to follow it through, because this will open doors to possibilities you perhaps have not yet experienced.

Commitment Opens the Door to Magic

When we go all in on something, life opens up magically before us. Whether it’s a career, a relationship, a new life path or simply meeting a friend for coffee – our commitment to show up fully is everything. When we give that, life will give it right back. When we know what we want and go all in for it, it seems the mysterious force of life somehow knows what to open up for us. Commitment makes us magnetic – it’s the law of attraction in tangible action. Have you ever noticed that when you’ve gone all in on a project or endeavor, that the right people and opportunities seem to find you? Your conviction and commitment are an energy that draws more of the same to you.

So embrace the energy of “cutting off” your options, knowing that you never limit yourself by deciding or committing – you expand. It’s an illusion that we limit ourselves when we make a decision, when in fact the exact opposite is true; we limit ourselves by leaving all options open, and no doors actually entered.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is an obsessive need to stand at the crossroads of life without committing to a single path. When we feel FOMO, we’re often mentally somewhere else even when we do make a decision, tormented by the many other places we could be. This drastically limits our experience of life, pulling us out of the flow of the moment and into a heady space of anxiety away from the real world.

Commitment is a theme I’m now prioritizing in new ways. I realized that while for years I valued freedom above all else, I was never truly free – because I hadn’t mastered my own energy. I was awash in the river of life, enthusiastically chasing anything and everything but not committed to a goal or purpose to serve as my guide. These higher goals can and do change, and that’s fine – the point is to ask ourselves what we’re committed to in this moment, and to follow that through. To identify and stay connected to our values as a compass even when we aren’t yet sure what our goals are.

I’m now reflecting on how in 2020, the pandemic year, I abandoned my nomadic life in Bali to hunker down in Portland, Oregon – and those six months felt deeper and more grounding than anything I’d had in years. How I felt so fulfilled by my decision to stay, and create community there. And how this half a year in Peru for 6 months, working primarily with one teacher, has been a commitment – and the energy of that is changing me. And now, this refreshed energy of commitment is one I’m taking into my life, to continue building on and exploring the expansion that can come through seeing a vision through to its completion rather than always chasing a new beginning

Turning Vision Into Action

Making a commitment involves surrendering the fear of losing out on “something else”, because you trust what you feel right now. It’s following something through because you’re guided and pulled by a higher “why”, even knowing that new distractions will arrive in every moment.

And of course, this leads to the most important piece of all – the ongoing action we take through the commitment to create results in our life. It’s one thing to make a grand vow to ourselves in a flash of inspiration – and another thing entirely to do the grunt work day after day to stay in line with the vision we have pulling us forward. This is where self-discipline, focus, and connection to a higher mission or “why” all come in as tools to support you.

Because what we commit to is literally what creates our life – whether we’re conscious of it or not. When we’re “non-committal”, we’re committed to the energy of distraction and scatteredness – likely because it’s serving us in some way. This can shift once you decide your higher vision is more important than staying stuck in patterns of indecision and constant open-endedness.

Yielding Your Sword To Exit The Roundabout

So what makes commitment so magical? It’s precisely the divisiveness and decisiveness of it that MAKES it a powerful catalyst for real growth and change. Because when we carve out our commitment from the quantum soup of infinite possibility, we bring something abstract to life. We harness the energy of potential into actuality, which is the sheer gift of human consciousness.

When we yield that decision-making sword and cut away everything but what we choose, we create the freedom to boldly move forward. It’s how we channel the fire burning inside and fan it into a flame of action and unstoppable growth.

Step back from your life today, and ask yourself what you’re really committed to. Make any necessary pivots, then double down on what feels most right and true in your heart.

About the author:

Kristen Yates is a certified life coach, yoga and mindfulness teacher, and somatic healer with a passion for helping people connect to their innate confidence, clarity, and calling. She weaves together her background in psychology with holistic health and embodiment, energy work, nature-based shamanic practice and intuitive guidance into her guided journeys of personal transformation. She is the host of the Wild Awake Podcast and YouTube channel, and hosts transformational retreats and workshops worldwide in a mission to inspire people to activate their truth and inner power as the key to their freedom.

Connect with Kristen here:

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